Rama was born in 1950 and grew up in Connecticut during the Sixties. Towards the end of his 19th year, he went to Kathmandu in Nepal (a rite of passage in that era) and encountered an old monk who informed him that he was destined to revive an ancient lineage of knowledge and enlightenment and help millions of people. After spending time with the monk in Nepal, he returned to the U.S. and followed the monk’s suggestions – he enrolled in college, got straight A’s, won a scholarship to graduate school at the State University of New York in Stony Brook and received a Ph.D. in English Literature. Throughout his college years, also at the advice of the old monk, he studied with the best spiritual teacher he could find at the time. Fred was a high achieving but in some ways typical Sixties kid.
What was atypical about Rama began when he was three years old. He recalled sitting in his mother’s garden as the world dissolved into white light, pure awareness, endless joy. It was his first experience of samadhi, complete immersion in infinite planes of light with no sense of self. The experience returned when he was 18, leading him to Nepal. Throughout his college years, as his fellow spiritual aspirants squirmed and struggled to stop thought in the meditation hall, Rama continued to deepen his experience of samadhi – no thought, endless light, infinite awareness. This continued until finally, at age 30, after countless hours of thought-free meditation, he became what is termed “enlightened,” meaning that the mind does not leave the state of infinite mind, yet one remains active and engaged in the world – an art described in the biography.
Rama began teaching on his own in 1981. He was not and never would be your typical "guru," a term he rejected. He was an American man. He liked cool cars, he dated women, he was an athlete. He taught about the vast, innate power of women. He taught that one’s sexual preference, gay or straight, has no bearing on the ability to attain complete, radiant enlightenment. He continually sought modern Western structures and understandings to help 21st century seekers embark on the considerable transformation needed to aim towards enlightenment.
Along the way and accompanying the teachings were the miracles, known as "siddha powers" in the East, often called “Buddhist magic” by Rama. Rama healed people. Thousands of people saw him filling halls and auditoriums and desert landscapes with golden light. He playfully rearranged stars, levitated, disappeared. He effortlessly performed all the siddhas, but with no fanfare. It was so natural, it was completely matter of fact. As one person remarked, “Here I was at the Los Angeles Convention Center. As Rama spoke, the whole auditorium turned molten gold. Then I went downstairs and saw the car show.” Rama enjoyed displaying the miracles in order to inspire belief in enlightenment. He often said, “If I can do this, so can you.”
All the cool miracles didn’t just happen in the past. These transformations of awareness are available for you to experience today, now. When an enlightened teacher drops the body, an inner connection is still there, if you want it. All of this and more is described in Blue Skies Buddha.
About Liz Lewinson
Liz Lewinson is an author, speaker, long-time meditator and technologist. She enjoys teaching people to meditate and conducts workshops on the topics of spiritual feminism and the right to explore extreme spirituality. After meditating for many years on another path, she encountered the Buddhist teacher and tulku, Frederick Lenz, in 1981, and began her study of American Tantric Buddhism. Her life was immediately and irrevocably changed with the transmission of luminous awareness that flowed from this young man. His teachings on the innate power of women and the innate love and humility of men were also transformative. She worked successfully in public relations and marketing, then took Dr. Lenz's advice on attaining career success in technology as a means of gaining the mental acuity required to enter into advanced meditative states of mind. Several months prior to his death in 1998, Rama asked Liz to be his biographer. She spent the next 15 years interviewing students, family members, friends and colleagues in order to provide an accurate depiction. In addition to Blue Skies Buddha, she is the author of Independence Ring and a soon-to-be-published sequel, Women, Meditation and Power. She is a member of the three-person Board of The Frederick P. Lenz Foundation for American Buddhism and leads the “Women in Buddhism” grant category. For more information about Liz, please visit www.lizlewinson.com.